Energy Efficiency Is Far Cry from Energy Conservation Images of Past, Says Alliance to Save Energy

Release Date: Thursday, April 19, 2001

Does energy conservation bring to mind graphic memories of the OPEC oil embargo, energy shortages, gas lines in the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter sitting in a cardigan asking Americans to turn down their thermostats, and other images of sacrifice, deprivation, and discomfort? Welcome instead to today's world of energy efficiency mixed with basic energy consciousness.

Energy efficiency, notes the Alliance to Save Energy, is a far cry from the energy conservation images and practices of old — of doing with less or doing without, of being uncomfortable or less comfortable. Not unlike the tremendous technological strides on the computer, electronics, and other fronts, energy efficiency takes advantage of advances in technology to provide significantly better, smarter services with less energy.

As energy prices skyrocket and electricity reliability issues take center stage, the Alliance urges consumers and businesses to take charge of their energy costs and energy futures by employing energy-efficiency technologies and products so that the nation gets the most productivity from every unit of energy.

"We're not saying forget the conservation voice of your mother/grandmother: 'What do you think we own shares in the power company?'" says the Alliance. "It's smart, basic energy consciousness (conservation) to use natural resources wisely and to turn off anything that you're not using that uses energy — lights, TV/VCR, heating, air conditioning, appliances, computer. And, it's even smarter to use compact fluorescent lights, programmable thermostats, and ENERGY STAR labeled (symbol for energy efficiency) TVs, VCRs, appliances, air conditioners, and computers to help you reduce energy use and energy bills."

Using energy wisely provides us with desired energy services-comfortable homes, profitable businesses, convenient transportation-with less energy use, less air pollution, less greenhouse gas emissions, and lower total cost, notes the Alliance.

With energy policy moving to the front burner on Capitol Hill, the White House, and various state governments, the Alliance points out that energy efficiency incentives could help significantly extend the nation's energy supply on the oil, natural gas, and electricity fronts. At the same time, energy efficiency would also provide numerous other benefits-saves consumers and businesses money, increases comfort, protects the environment, enhances the economy, and promotes national security.